Akshai J. Patel
Akshai J. Patel is Co-Founder and CEO of Phoenix Collegiate Academy charter schools, a K-12 network in South Phoenix.
He attended Barrett, the Honors College at 'The' Arizona State University, where he was a competitive Debator, Fencer, and President of the Barrett College Council, the honors college's student government. Akshai graduated summa cum laude from ASU with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Political Science with concentration in Public Policy Advocacy. He earned his MBA at Columbia University.
Driven by a passion to change life trajectories for the neediest students in his hometown, Mr. Patel joined Teach For America. As a Corps Member, he taught 5th grade for two years in a low-income community in Southwest Phoenix. While teaching, Akshai earned his M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the Arizona State University. Later, after teaching 8th Grade Language Arts in Cave Creek, he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach and study at la Universidad de Concepción in Southern Chile. While teaching pedagogy and English language coursework, Akshai researched US History education in Chile and its impact on Chilean attitudes toward US policy. Upon returning, Mr. Patel spent two years in the Roosevelt School District in South Phoenix, teaching a 4th/5th combined class and later 1st grade. He joined the ASU College of Education staff as Faculty Associate part-time, instructing evening graduate level courses in educational assessment.
Motivated to change students' lives permanently by helping them find a path to college, Mr. Patel joined fellow Teach For America alumni to help establish Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a free, public charter school dedicated to preparing disadvantaged students to succeed in college and be leaders in the community. The school has been recognized on multiple occasions since its inception in 2009 for superior academic results and management. It is the first seamless K to College pathway in the community.
Patel is also the lead founder and a Board Member of DeansList Software, an education technology company that helps high-performing schools across the country use data to improve results. Akshai is a volunteer Advisory Board Member for Sounds Academy, a non-for-profit organization increasing music education opportunities in low-income Phoenix communities.